BANGKOK: The Philippine Swimming League (PSL) continued its impressive showing in the 2014 Royal Bangkok Swimming Championship as it bagged 22 more medals—seven golds, seven silvers and eight bronzes—on Sunday at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club Swimming Pool here.
Daryl Concepcion, Michael Gabriel Lozada and Kyla Soguilon were unstoppable in their respective age groups, claiming two gold medals each while Jeffrey Michael Hirao contributed one gold.
Concepcion, a Grade 6 student at Diliman Preparatory School, pocketed golds in the boys’ 11-12 50-meter backstroke (30.48) and 200m Individual Medley (2:30.36) then Lozada followed suit in earning golds in the boys’ 7 years 50m backstroke (42.90) and 50m butterfly (38.81).
The nine-year-old Soguilon remained on track of winning the Most Outstanding Swimmer award in the girls’ 9 years category as she earned additional golds in the 200m IM (2:49.95) and 50m butterfly (35.60).
On the other hand, Hirao, a De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde standout, ruled boys’ 15-over 50m backstroke in 30.61 seconds.
“We want to open the eyes of the Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee that grassroots development program is very important. They have to motivate the young swimmers. That’s what the PSL is doing just like what we did to [Palarong Pambansa record holder] Sacho Ilustre,” said PSL President Susan Papa.
“We brought him to international competition for free and we supported him in his travel expenses to Palarong Pambansa. He was noticed by the POC-national sports association for swimming through media exposures and got recruited,” she added.
The silver medalists were Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh (girls’ 8 years 100m breaststroke and 50m butterfly), Rizalino Cortez III (boys’ 10 years 50m backstroke), Soguilon (100m breaststroke and 50m backstroke), Lozada (100m breaststroke) and the boys’ 15-over 200m medley relay composed of Hirao, Martin Jacob Pupos, Mico Abina and Nathan Cheng.
Earning bronze medals were Mojdeh (50m backstroke), Concepcion (100m breaststroke), Trisha Oliveros (girls 15-over 50m backstroke, 200m IM and 100m breaststroke), the girls’ 11-12 200m medley relay of Georr Briones, Jesreel Francisco, Sidley Malumay and Riandrea Chico, the boys’ 11-12 200m medley relay of Concepcion, Inaki Emil Lorbes, John Mar Armocilla and Ethan Gabriel, and the girls’ 15-over 200m medley relay of Oliveros, Gianna Data, Ashley Rances and Alic Dela Cruz.
So far, there are 13 gold medals in the bag, surpassing the 10-gold medal target earlier announced by Papa. The opening day gold medalists were Mojdeh (1), Soguilon (2), Concepcion (2), and Lozada (1).
“The PSC and POC must appreciate the process the PSL is doing and we don’t mind whether they recruit our swimmers after we developed the character and motivation of the swimmers,” stressed Papa.
“This is what the PSC should realize and tell to the national sports association. They have to open the gates to non-POC members once they are developed. We’re not selfish, they can recruit our swimmers as long as it is for the benefit of the athletes,” ended Papa.